A major blitz on drug dealers is underway in Birmingham. Codenamed No Deal the operation saw officers from across the West Midlands carry out raids on eight homes early this morning (15/09/15).
Following the co-ordinated dawn raids by local officers, the force’s Operational Support Unit − an elite specialist police team − moved in to conduct fingertip searches of the properties. Sniffer dogs were also drafted in to join the search for hidden cash, weapons and drugs.
Eight men aged between 19 and 47, and a 27-year-old women were arrested and are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to supply drugs.
The move was sparked by concerns from local people that drug dealing was taking place on their streets.
“These raids are the product of months of careful planning,” said Chief Inspector Richard Agar, who is leading the crackdown.
“Following calls from people about suspected drug dealing, we’ve been working hard to develop those suspicions into information which we were able to present to local magistrates who then granted us search warrants.”
Among the homes raided were two addresses locally on Station Road in Kings Heath and Dogpool Lane in Stirchley.
Further properties in Hall Green, Weoley Castle, Highgate, Bordesley Green and Sparkhill were also targeted in the first wave of activity. Further raids are planned for the coming days and weeks.
A similar crackdown in Sandwell earlier this year saw 54 people plead guilty to drug-related crimes with eight more awaiting trial.
In addition to legal proceedings officers are now working with housing associations to evict those guilty of offences in a move likely to be repeated in Birmingham.
“People need to realise the far-reaching consequences of their criminal actions,” said Ch Insp Agar.
“Law abiding people don’t want to be living next to drug dealers who are attracting addicts to their neighbourhood. They know, as we know, that those addicts are committing crimes to fund their habit wreaking more misery on local people.
“Mirroring the efforts in other areas, we will be working with Birmingham’s housing providers to evict those who are found guilty of drug crimes.
“Unfortunately in some cases this will mean entire families will be forced to move but this is right and proper if they knew what their loved one was up to and did nothing to stop the crimes taking place.”
Following the raids, drugs workers moved into the areas to identify users to offer them the chance to turn their lives around.
Community Payback teams − people ordered by the courts to carry out unpaid work for their petty crimes − were also drafted in to carry out litter picks and graffiti removal in same areas.
For help to make a fresh start free from drugs call Reach Out Recovery on 0121 227 5890.
Anyone with information about suspected drug dealing in their neighborhood should call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 555. To speak to police officers instead, call 101.